Great Minds Answer the Question “What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?” in a New Film

≡ Category: Science |4 Comments

At the start of 2014, Edge.org posed its annual question to 176 scientific minds: “What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?” The question (as we noted in January) came prefaced by this thought:
Science advances by discovering new things and developing new ideas.

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Kurt Vonnegut Reveals “Why My Dog Is Not a Humanist” in His Humanist of the Year Award Speech (1992)

≡ Category: Life, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Sci Fi, Science |Leave a Comment

Note: Vonnegut starts talking at around the 3:40 mark.
This is humanism, as explained by biochemist, science fiction author and former president of the American Humanist Association Isaac Asimov:
Humanists believe that human beings produced the progressive advance of human society and also the ills that plague it.

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Ideasthesia: An Animated Look at How Ideas Feel

≡ Category: Philosophy, Science |Leave a Comment

Danko Nikolic, a researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, has come up with a theory called “ideasthesia,” which questions the reality of two philosophical dualities: 1.) the mind and body, and 2.) sense perception and ideas.

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Watch Carl Sagan & Richard Dawkins Present the Royal Institution’s Famous Christmas Lectures

≡ Category: Science |1 Comment

If only someone could have invented the internet by 1825. Not only would we have reached unimagined realms of communication by now, but we would have a full 189 years of Christmas lectures to stream online at our leisure.

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Robert Sapolsky Explains the Biological Basis of Religiosity, and What It Shares in Common with OCD, Schizophrenia & Epilepsy

≡ Category: Biology, Religion, Science |5 Comments

Since the 19th century, thinkers like Ludwig Feuerbach, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud have theorized religion as a strictly psychological and anthropological phenomenon born of the tendency of the human mind to project its contents out into the heavens.

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16,000 Pages of Charles Darwin’s Writing on Evolution Now Digitized and Available Online

≡ Category: Archives, Biology, History, Science |2 Comments

The Darwinian theory of evolution is an amazing scientific idea that seems, at least to a layperson like me, to meet all the criteria for what scientists like Ian Glynn praise highly as “elegance”—all of them perhaps except one: Simplicity.

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Crash Course Big History: John Green Teaches Life, the Universe & Everything

≡ Category: History, Science |Leave a Comment

If you don’t understand big history, you’ll never understand small history. That idea hasn’t yet attained aphorism status, but maybe we can get it there. Last month, we featured a free, Bill Gates-funded short course on 13.8 billion years of “Big History”.

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A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2: A Striking Visualization

≡ Category: Environment, Science |Leave a Comment

During the same week when House Republicans passed a bill forbidding scientists from advising the EPA on its own research, NASA climate scientists (coincidentally but maybe inconveniently) released a video documenting A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2.

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Shelf Life: American Museum of Natural History Creates New Video Series on Its 33 Million Artifacts

≡ Category: Biology, History, Museums, Science, Video - Science |Leave a Comment

I once spent a summer as a security guard at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. A wonderful place to visit, but my workday experience proved dreadfully dull.

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New Animated Web Series Makes the Theory of Evolution Easy to Understand

≡ Category: Biology, Education, K-12, Science |Leave a Comment

When it comes to matters of broad scientific consensus, I’m generally inclined to offer provisional assent.

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